Skip to main content

Full text of "Alexander von Humboldt"

See other formats

S3 4t                                      or
it to Humboi«Ii. But tLe ilirtloraatists disliked him.
Russia would hare Ibeen dissatisfied with Ms appoint-
ment ; for such a superior mind, as Eumboldf's could
not have consented to a iiiimiliatliig" subjection to the
autocrat. The post was therefore given to Count
BernstorfE, until then Danisli ambassador to the
Prussian court.
This appointment caused a great sensation. Hum-
boldt liiiiiself aeezaeda Irritated less by the occurrence
tlian at the chancellor, "who had really not acted fairly
towards iiira, and the apologies and explanations of
Hardenberg's friends even seemed lame. One of Ms
supporters write**: " Public opinion had expected that
William. Ton Hutnboldt, and not Bemstorff, would be
appointed to this post, and Humboldt^s penetratiBg
reason needs no praise. But he, in common with all
men of great superiority of mind who have not the
devotedness of         which may be termed amiability,
the                 to be         feared than loved   JSTo
one likes to "be detected in the secret              of Ms
thoughts by another, and Hrnnboldt's native peaetra-
tion, heightened "by the study of profound sciences,
Ms talent for seeing: tkrongh. others,         intolerable
to the so-eaEed clever men.    Great                    be-
came   intimate  and   friendly with him.    If he
superior to          in
Hked to                   him.,                                      in
the         of Ms               It                        necessary
to           a man of                                   amiability,
but  of inferior talent, at the          of affairs which
their leader to frequent personal intercourse
with the clever people^ the ambassadors; and the
position is not fitted for a         who only mind3
and nothing else/* Freiiierr von Stein wrote to Ton
Gagern on the          subject: ^ Bernstorff is an ex-
cellent man.    I do not know what stand lie will take
the king and the chancellor.    Whether lie
strength to clear the Augean stables, remains to
be           -Hximboldt excels him infinitely in   mind,
knowledge.,  and I admire the skill of the